- The method is developed using artificial intelligence and machine learning for scanning retinas of children aged six and above to identify early signs of autism
A scientist from Hong Kong has reportedly designed a retinal scan technology using artificial intelligence and machine learning that helps in scanning retinas of children as young as age six to identify early signs of autism. The scientist hopes to develop a commercial product before the end of this year.
Benny Zee, professor at the Chinese University in Hong Kong and the scientist behind this invention, apparently stated that this retinal scanning technique can increase the chances of detecting early signs of autism in children and help in getting treatment more quickly.
He further added that initiating early intervention provides a bigger chance of success and the tech can be utilized for treating autism in initial stages. Benny Zee’s research has been published in EClinicalMedicine, a medical journal reviewed by peers.
The method uses a high -resolution camera with a software that analyses multiple factors like blood vessels and fiber layers in the eye. Over seventy children were tested with this method, out of which 46 were autistic while the remaining 24 were part of a control group. The technology was 95.7% successful in detecting children with autism. The average age of group was 13, where the youngest child was six years old.
Although specialists in autism have welcomed this technology, they feel there remains a societal stigma with parents often not ready to accept that their children are potentially autistic, even with such clear signs.
Dr. Caleb Knight, an owner of a private therapy center for autism, reportedly expressed that in many cases, the initial reaction of parents isdenial. He further added that such tests will help parents avoid that denial, which would help their children getting the necessary treatments as early as possible.